In Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, why is the "eye of heaven" neither constant nor trustworthy?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The "eye of heaven" does, indeed, refer to the sun, and the narrator claims that it sometimes shines "too hot."  Just as often, its face is "dimm'd," perhaps because clouds have obscured it and hidden its "gold complexion" from view.  Both are possible on a summer's day, though summer is often thought to be the most handsome season, and so this is one key reason that the narrator says his lover is more beautiful than such a day.  When the sun shines too brightly upon us, it can burn us and make existence quite unpleasant with its heat.  However, the speaker's lover is...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 308 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team